Illustration 2002 Thomas Kinkade, Media Arts Group Inc., San Jose, CA
So what brought your family to Montana? Tara asked, wiping the corners of
her mouth with a napkin.
Our husbands had just become co-workers, and the dinner engagement was the
first chance wed had to get to know each other. Since the majority of people
who live nestled in our corner of Montana are from out-of-state, her question
didnt surprise me. But I knew my response would surprise her. Little did Tara
know that her simple question soon would lead us into a discussion of miracles,
miraculous events and a miracle-making God.
Do miracles still happen?According to a recent
Newsweek poll, Most Americans Believe in Miracles, May 1, 2000, 84
percent of Americans believe in miracles. This statistic is supported by
headlines scattered throughout tabloid newspapers and lifestyle magazines,
where you can often find stories of miraculous recoveries and miraculous
survivals. Several television shows are even devoted to miracles.
The same Newsweek poll also stated that 48 percent of people have
personally experienced miracles.
I could be included in that number. Miracles mark my life. From the car keys
I desperately needed to find, to my childs fever that disappeared with prayer,
these can only be labeled as extraordinary events that resulted from acts of
God. Yet, too often Gods blessings are forgotten as soon as our prayers are
But bigger miracles, such as the one that took place during our move to
Montana, are harder to forget. These transforming moments, when we feel God at
work, are stories that can open the door to sharing our faith.
My miracleMy familys miracle started with our growing
desire to raise our kids in a place where the pace was a little slower and
everyone knew their neighbors names. Montana was our choice. We dreamed about a
move for years, but there were so many things that stood in our waynamely funds
to move and credit cards that never seemed to get paid off. Finally one day, my
husband and I got on our knees.
Lord, if its your desire for us to move, please open the doors, we prayed.
We have credit cards with huge balances that need to be paid and moving
expenses we cant comprehend.
It was a simple prayer, but an effective one. The next day, my husband, who
worked on commission, sold as much in a day as he usually did in a month! It
was enough to pay off our credit cards and put away money for the move. To us
it was a miracle.
As I told Tara our story that afternoon, her eyes moistened. Then, to my
awe, she shared some of her needs that had been answered over the years. By the
end of our time together, we not only had exchanged wonderful stories, but
Taras family had promised to join us at church that Sunday. Within a few
months, Tara, her husband and her son were baptized, and they became active
members of our church. Life-changing miracles indeed.
Your miraclesIf Tara were sitting across from you,
what miracles would you share? Heidi Lamoreaux, a mother of two from Kalispell,
Montana, has a miraculous story of healing.
Last year, at only 28, Heidi was diagnosed with colon cancer after a
colonoscopy revealed a golf ball-sized tumor. Word spread about Heidis
condition, and soon she received numerous emails from people bathing her in
prayer. Two weeks later, Heidi went in for surgery, and to the doctors
amazement the tumor could not be found. Six more doctors were called in, and
each confirmed the cancer was gone.
It was a testimony to those who had been praying for me, and to the people I
tell my story to today, Heidi says. I also feel that God was speaking to my
parents who were nonbelievers. Even today my mom tells about my healing to
anyone who will listen.
After the surgery, Heidi recovered in record time and has had no further
symptoms. God wants my story to continue to go out, Heidi says. Just the other
day, I received a letter from India. I dont know how someone in India heard
about my miracle, but Im sure God has a message for people there too.
ILLUSTRATION BY DALE GLASGOW
The miracle makerAs with Heidis example, its not
enough simply to tell about our miracles. With our stories we also need to be
sure to give credit to the Miracle Maker and explain how our listener can have
a relationship with Him as well. Remember:
Live a life of faith. Miracles happen when we place our
trust in a miracle-making God. The more we turn to God for even the small
things, the more opportunities we have to tell about answered prayer.
Keep a record of God at work. If someone asked what
miracles have happened in your life, what would you say? While some of us have
extraordinary tales that could be transformed into a made-for-television movie,
most of us have simpler instances of answered prayer. Large or small, keep a
record of God at work. The more you realize how active God is in your life, the
better prepared youll be to tell of His goodness.
Share the small stuff. For many, its a challenge to strike
up a conversation about faith. A good place to start is to tell a little about
yourself, your life and your family. As you do, weave in small miracles that
have happened, making clear that these are not coincidences but the work of
your Savior. Then ask if your listener would like to have a personal
relationship with Him too.
Listen and ask. Nearly everyone has faced close-calls. Take
time to learn peoples stories. Ask new friends about their lives and listen
actively as they talk. As they share their miraculous occurrences, be quick to
give credit to God. Responses like, Wow, God really protected you in that
situation, will help others to see Gods hand in their lives.
Be quick to pray. More times than I care to admit, Ive sat
by quietly when others were in need of prayer. Recently, however, Ive been
quick to ask if it would be okay to pray right then. Whether someone is dealing
with a rebellious child or a hurting marriage, prayer is rarely turned down.
After praying, its important to follow up with that person and ask if he or she
would like to have a personal relationship with God. Its also important to
attribute any answered prayers to our loving and caring Lord Who wants to be
Realize the power of miracles. Your story has power, says
Daniel Owens, author of Sharing Christ When You Feel You Cant
(Crossway). First, its personal. You dont have to worry about telling it
correctly. Second, its conversational. Its not a sermon. It can be shared over
a cup of coffee or after a round of golf. Third, no one can dispute it . . .
Fourth, its interesting.
The power of miracles is the fact that people want to hear about them.
Theyll tune in until the end of your story. And thats when we can tell them
about the Miracle Maker, who seeks to be involved in our every- day lives, and
invite them to follow Him too.
Tricia Goyer is a writer living in Columbia Falls, Montana.
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